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protective styles

Best protective styles for natural hair

This document will be about the different types of protective styles are and how they can assist you in looking after your curly hair. I was fortunate that when I was a lot younger, since I have an interest in hair dressing I was able to learn how to put my hair in a protective style. I will also briefly cover what the benefits of some of the styles.

Easy styles

The easiest protective styles that anyone can put on their head is twists or braids with your own hair. Now after I realised how damaging the blow dryer can be, I stopped using it, I was not quite sure what to do with my hair. Since I wash my hair often I found it easy to put them in twists. Now everyone has a different opinion on them in terms of presentation but if it is a bother to you, there are lots of quality wigs nowadays that you can use, therefore it’s not too hard to put them on your head. The advantage of twists and braids on your head is that it can be quite easy to maintain and you can easily moisturise every night. The other great thing is that it promotes hair growth.

Braids with extensions

Braids with extension can be another style to have on your head. They are great because your hair will look presentable always and you can choose any length you want. In terms of maintenance, they tend to be a little tricky as if you don’t moisturise, your hair will definitely dry out. Secondly, there tends to be build up especially if you are trying to moisturise as often as possible. A few tricks to combat this problem is to either use some spirit to clean around your scalp area to reduce itchiness. Additionally you can add some light oil to avoid your hair drying out. Braids, have a time period and when they start looking messy, it’s definitely time to take them off. If you can get the front part redone, you should do that, however it’s best to remove once they are messy. You will minimise breakage. It also promotes hair growth.

Hair with extensions

Crochet Braids

Trends are changing and gone are the days of long hours at the salon. When I first discovered Crocheting, it changed my life in ways you cannot imagine. I love this style. it’s so versatile and easy. Additionally, there is a lot less breakage on your scalp. When I do crochet, I don’t have to worry about much as most of the time it looks so natural whatever hair type I want. It does not take long and you can do braids, locks, afro’s or open hair. It normally last for about 4 – 6 weeks depending on how you look after it and I find that it can be a little tricky to maintain depending on what type of style you have. I think making sure that you use a deep treatment method will help in adding moisture to the hair after you take off your crotchet braids.

Weaves

People used weaves quite a bit back in the day and I think nowadays with the newer styles weaves are used only for certain sections of the head or to add a little body to the hair if necessary.  Weaves would be used a lot more for special occasions such as graduations, weddings and other types of events. Weaves tend to be the trickiest to maintain as if you do wash it, you must blow dry your roots, otherwise they will smell. It’s also wise to use a leave in conditioner before you braid your hair down to minimise any breakage as well.

LOCKS

Locks are quite common nowadays and if maintained appropriately, they look amazing. The beauty of locks is that you can style them in any way you want and they make your hair grow really fast. The trick with locks though is that when you wash them. You have to make sure that you dry them extremely well. Another thing with locks is that they grow quite fast, so you have to keep getting your root’s re-twisted almost every week which can be time consuming. Locks can be braided if you want a different look and can be styled in any other way if you want.

Conclusion

All these protective styles make afro hair so versatile and therefore even though you get knots and tangles, having the protective styles means minimising the trouble of taking knots out of the curly hair. The other things beneficial to curly hair is that if it’s left on it’s own without much disturbance it tends to grow quite a lot. I think that every individual with curly hair does have a preference for a specific protective style in general. Although we were born with curly hair, we don’t have to be limited to having it in the curly state all the time and that’s one thing I love about curly hair.

What do I think is the best style, well for me I actually like the crotchet the best, when I consider all other styles, it’s the most convenient and easiest style to put on your scalp and maintain. However everyone has a look that they like. What about you, what look do you like?

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How to figure out your hair type

Afro hair care and curl patterns

Afro’s come in different textures, volumes, shapes and sizes. The only thing that is consistent with them is that they are all curly. To identify how well to look after your afro, there are 2 things you must identify. The first thing you must do to is identify your curl pattern. Identifying your curl pattern helps you in knowing which products are better for your hair. There are various curl patterns and you can check them out on a few websites. The loose type of curl pattern is identified from 3A. This type of curl pattern is loose and tends to form ringlets on the head of an individual that has this type of hair. Type 3 hair ranges from 3A – 3C.

3A tends to look like this below:

3A Hair type

The most common type of curl pattern for more coily hair is type 4 hair. It also ranges from 4A- 4C. This hair get’s extremely dry and can be deemed hard to maintain. It also tends to shrink when washed, therefore it’s hard to tell how long the hair is until you stretch it out.

You can easily identify that hair type when you see it anywhere.  Here is an example of a look below:

Afro hair type 4

Hair Porosity in afro hair

The second thing to identify is the hair porosity. This took me a while to identify, however it is extremely important to know what your hair porosity is because if you don’t know again you can use the wrong type of products and get the wrong results. As mentioned earlier in this piece, maintaining natural hair does not have to be expensive and I am not a product junkie, therefore if you want to save yourself the heartache of spending on products you don’t need, make sure you know these 2 things. Hair porosity is important because it determines how much moisture your hair can maintain. little hair porosity means that if you pulled a strand off your hair and put it in a glass of water, it would float. This means that it would take longer for any products to get on your hair. For my hair I realized that shea butter and coconut oil work best as they moisturise it easily. But remember you must rub the oils in your hand otherwise the products can sit on your hair. more hair porosity, means that if you take a sample of your hair and put it in water it will sink. This means that you can use lighter oils and your hair will take in the product.

Therefore to make sure that your afro is well looked after, know the type of curl pattern and porosity as these items will help in determining the type of products you can use.

Below is a quick demonstration of hair porosity types:

Hair porosity is low and therefore the hair does not get water easily.

Here is an example of hair that has higher porosity and therefore easily get’s moisturized.

It’s not really clear to see at it has sunk to the bottom of the glass, however the hair is straighter and obviously has higher hair porosity.

Therefore you would think what would you do with hair that has low hair porosity. The secret is to make water your friend. In winter that is a challenge, but it does not hurt to moisturize as often as you can. However protective styles, which I shall cover later can assist during the colder periods.

During summer have a water spray with some light oil. My preference, water mixed with jojoba oil.

GELS

I find that it is harder for me to use gels on my hair because they always leave some type of residue and I have used most of them. Aloe vera is gentler, however gels just don’t seem to work very well for me at all. Therefore I don’t use them.

For those with high porosity hair, some gels tend to work really well and minimize frizz. Nowadays there are so many gel types around like Camille rose, Cantu, Shea moisture, curly custard e.t.c just to name a few.

I find that they look amazing on high porosity hair and low porosity. But if you have low porosity, you know that you will get white residue on your hair which does not look great. Spraying with water works but the struggle to maintain less frizzy hair is very real.

The main goal of this article was to assist in helping you identify your hair type to make sure that you know the best products for your hair. Do you know your hair type and if you have low porosity or high porosity?

About Keri

Welcome to Keri’s world where we will talk about all things’ Afro and the maintenance of hair that is curly and frizzy. Before the trend of natural hair, I had been rocking my Afro for well over 2 years. Honestly the struggle was real, preparing for washing, making sure that it is well moisturized and not frizzy. The worst thing was I had moved to a place where there was no-one to help me maintain my hair so I had to figure out things’ on my own.

At that particular time, there were not so many products for natural hair like there are nowadays and not many people really had Afros’s then.

YOUR STORY

Over 10 years ago, I embarked on the natural hair journey which honestly is a struggle for many women of color. Why did I transition to natural when its easy to relax your hair and have it straight? well for me I think it was the fact that I had to look after my hair on my own.

When I first started my University degree, I used to have relaxed hair. I would get assistance to maintain it from time to time, but when I did not I would do it myself.

One day during the process of relaxer, I believe I may have put it in my hair for too long and when I was washing off the chemical, I had a clump of hair fall into my hands. From that specific time onward, I have never attempted to relax my hair again and every time I think about it, I just reflect on what I did in the past. I could very well have seemed a professional after that period, however I seriously had to ask myself what I was applying on my body.


WHY YOU WANT TO HELP PEOPLE

I really struggled to maintain my hair for a long time and I totally understand individuals that have thicker hair who would not want to have their hair in the natural state. Everyone is entitled to their style and this blog is mainly for individuals looking to have their hair natural and well moisturized. I am not perfect, however everyday I am learning how to keep my hair in tip-top condition especially now that I know how to look after it.

Another thing that really helps is the fact that there are so many people that have YouTube sites talking about natural hair. However, it has to be stated that not everything works for everyone. You need to understand your own hair and how to maintain it in whatever condition it is. I can attest to growing my Afro quite long, however that is not the point of this blog. The point is ensuring that your hair is well maintained no matter how long or short your hair is.

This blog is set up to provide tips on how individuals can maintain their hair and ensure that it is at its best condition.



THE GOAL OF YOUR SITE

The main purpose for this blog was to help people appreciate themselves more and know how to look after themselves. There are many products out there, however you don’t have to use all of them to know what works for you. I know that if you are on a budget, some things’ cannot be done, however if you know what to do, you can save yourself lots of money and still be happy with the results.

I am more than happy to hear from anyone that finds a specific technique works, however this is for those people that are time poor, however they need to make sure that their hair is looking great for certain occasions.

If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

All the best,

Keri

afro-queen.com